While we Christians are to turn the other cheek when insulted, as Christ said in Matthew 5:39, Brother H, the self-appointed lay minister at a cultic church I once attended, was correct about standing up for our legal rights. Paul invoked his Roman citizenship a number of times when wrongly accused. In Philippi, he was arrested contrary to Roman law. Acts 16:35-39 reads, “And when it was day, the magistrates sent the serjeants, saying, ‘Let those men go.’ And the keeper of the prison told this saying to Paul, ‘The magistrates have sent to let you go: now therefore depart, and go in peace.’ But Paul said unto them, ‘They have beaten us openly uncondemned, being Romans, and have cast us into prison; and now do they thrust us out privily? nay verily; but let them come themselves and fetch us out.’ And the serjeants told these words unto the magistrates: and they feared, when they heard that they were Romans. And they came and besought them, and brought them out, and desired them to depart out of the city.”
Paul claimed his citizenship again in Acts 22:25-27. Luke recorded, “And as they bound him with thongs, Paul said unto the centurion that stood by, ‘Is it lawful for you to scourge a man that is a Roman, and uncondemned?’ When the centurion heard that, he went and told the chief captain, saying, ‘Take heed what thou doest: for this man is a Roman.’ Then the chief captain came, and said unto him, ‘Tell me, art thou a Roman?’ He said, ‘Yea.'”
Paul stood up for his legal rights a third time when the Pharisees wanted him tried in Jerusalem. In Acts 25:11, he said. “For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die: but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me unto them. I appeal unto Caesar.”
The previous paragraphs came from my upcoming memoir, How I Was Razed. It’s the story of how I was mislead by a cult, how I rejected God after fifteen years of not receiving my sight when I prayed for it, and how I eventually learned the truth about Christianity. My hope is to have this book in print next year.
I also have two memoirs in print. When a Man Loves a Rabbit (Learning and Living With Bunnies) tells the touching story of my long-eared companions and the amazing things I learned from them. Deliverance From Jericho (Six Years in a Blind School) recounts what it was like to be sent to a distant institution for months at a stretch. Both paperbacks can be purchased by clicking here. Information about my writing and these books is also on that page.